Healthcare Just isn't a Market Thing

I know I’m getting long-in-the-tooth because so many people point it out to me. They think it’s a funny joke until I point out to them that it really means that I’m going to die pretty soon. Then I’m the one that laughs. I laugh because people never seem to get it that they’re not going to stay where they are. I suppose this is why some people say that, as you get older, you start laughing at inappropriate things. I know I do.

Of course I’m hoping that when my time for the inevitable comes I will have lived a sufficiently good life, with all of the aids my Catholic religion gives me, so as to grant me access to that wonder beyond the gates, albeit after some Purgatorial time to get all the impurities burned off my soul that my wife tells me need burning off. But after God and my wife are satisfied, I hope to make heaven along with the rest of the undeserving.

But there are some things that I probably won’t be able to see from the earthly perspective, though I would like to. They just aren’t going to happen until after I’m gone. The Detroit Lions winning the Super Bowl is one. An end to the calls to repeal Obamacare is another.

Now I don’t mean that I think Obamacare is such a success story that it deserves to be permanently graven into the nation’s civic DNA. I know it isn’t. It still leaves lots of folks uninsured, and can’t seem to manage to send me my 1095-A form so I can file my taxes properly. No, what bothers me about all the calls to repeal Obamacare are the continuous threats to replace it with “market-based solutions.”

I don’t know if the politicians who call for these “market-based” solutions know what they’re saying, but, if they do, they really need to become nicer people. Because if something is offered in a market, there’s a good chance that some people aren’t going to be able to afford it. Not everyone can afford a Cadillac. Heck, not everyone can afford a car. 

So far I’ve done pretty well without a Cadillac. In lean times I’ve managed without a car. But if my child, or my grandchild, is ever denied necessary, life-saving medical care because there aren’t the funds to pay for it, I’m not going to be able to manage that at all. And here I’m serving notice that if that ever happens I have no intention of remaining an acquiescent gentleman about the whole thing. I’ll resort to crime if I have to. What would be the cost of me going to prison, or even getting executed, balanced against the life of my child or grandchild?

These considerations make it plain that the word “market” should never be used around the word “healthcare” by decent people. Healthcare just isn’t a market thing. It is something that is both expensive and needed absolutely; and there are times when you just can’t adjust your demand for it no matter how expensive it is.

A “market-based solution” to healthcare is nothing that any sane person should want. Even rich folks ought to consider that they could become poor some day and find themselves priced out of that “market.” As for me, I’ll put up with the annoyance of being unable to send me my 1095-A form before I ever want something like that.

Louis Rose